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Rusty Ford

Herpes simplex picture

Herpes is an infection caused by herpes simplex virus 1 or 2. It primarily affects the mouth or genital area.

There are two different strains of herpes simplex viruses. Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) is usually associated with infections of the lips, mouth, and face. It is the most common herpes simplex virus among the general population and is usually acquired in childhood.

Herpes simplex

This is a picture showing the sore on the lip caused by herpes simplex.

 

There are two strains of herpes simplex viruses:

Here are the differences between 1 and 2

  • Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) is usually associated with infections of the lips, mouth, and face. It is the most common herpes simplex virus and many people develop it in childhood. HSV-1 often causes sores (lesions) inside the mouth, such as cold sores (fever blisters), or infection of the eye (especially the conjunctiva and cornea). It can also lead to infection of the lining of the brain (meningoencephalitis). It is transmitted by contact with infected saliva. By adulthood, 30 - 90% of people will have antibodies to HSV-1. The likelihood of childhood infection is higher among those with lower socioeconomic status.
  • Herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2) is usually sexually transmitted. Symptoms include genital ulcers or sores. However, some people with HSV-2 have no symptoms. Up to 30% of adults in the U.S. have antibodies against HSV-2. Cross-infection of type 1 and 2 viruses may occur from oral-genital contact. That is, you can get genital herpes on your mouth, and oral herpes on your genital area.
 

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